Belgian ceramicist Piet Stockmans‘ relationship with porcelain exists in the space between a passionate love affair and a close, steady friendship. Conversing with a singular medium for over thirty years gives Stockmans a deeply personal relationship with it. Paper-thin porcelain cups, plates and vases are as much vessels for artistic expression as they are industrially-handcrafted everyday objects. Cradling a cup of tea becomes a viscerally calming experience as his eggshell beakers are, to quote Nasir Kassamali, so light, they are like an extension of your palm.
Stockmans is also known for romancing porcelain in dramatic installations such as the ones created in 2006 for Luminaire Chicago during NeoCon and Luminaire Contract during Design Miami. A wall of feathered porcelain “wings” can touch the sublime while awakening the versatility and vulnerability of porcelain itself. In addition, Stockmans helped raise awareness and funds for cancer research by creating original pieces sold at auction for Luminaire’s Puppy Love 2006 and Paper Love 2008.
The magic of the material and the poetic drive of the designer introduces audiences to the varied depths of design. Most recently, Stockmans and his daughter Widukind were asked to grace the wedding of Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock with enchanting tableware, limited editions of which are available at Stockmans’ dealers in Belgium. Such delicate porcelain pieces must be made with seasoned hands, yet Piet Stockmans also creates with his spirit to make them sing.